Ever since the early days in the nineties when my family bought its first computer, I have been a dedicated PC gamer. Although I love many of the titles for our favorite home consoles, the depth and variety of games both independently created and produced by big studios available on the PC, alongside the greater access to multimedia and community, has not been surpassed by game systems. This list should illustrate that the home PC is far from a dying gaming platform but rather an ever-growing one.
Runner up: Super Mario Crossover
There are two reasons this game does not attain a place on my main list. The first excuse is the creator uses already established 8-bit characters and game mechanics as its foundation - however perfectly translated to the Super Mario Brothers universe they may be. Secondly, since Super Mario Crossover is an Adobe Flash title, calling it a PC game may be an inconvenient stretch - although the engine is periodically updated. Those two qualifiers aside, this exemplary title is one of the most enjoyable means to squander an afternoon without having to install anything. If you love Super Mario Brothers then it should be known without saying that you shall find Super Mario Brothers with your favorite childhood video game characters irresistible. The impressive roster - which is steadily growing - include the likes of Link, Mega Man, Simon Belmont, Samus Aran, Ryu Hayabusa and more.
#10 Everquest 2 Extended
Since 2004 I have had a love-hate relationship with Everquest 2. This previous summer when the Sentinel's Fate expansion was released, I returned to the game to find much of the community I left behind not only still there, but thriving. This summer SOE decided to take the game in a whole new direction with the release of a free-to-play server with limitations. Although at first I was opposed to this due to needed reform on live servers over the past few months, the game has undoubtedly grown even larger in fan base thanks to this move and I am glad to see a new generation of gamers getting into Everquest. I recommend you try EQ2E as a stepping stone into the live servers which have a much older, dedicated, and friendly community. Everquest 2 as an MMORPG has had the benefit of several years of time to fix and fiddle with gameplay elements to produce a refined experience. This is a great MMORPG that will not disappoint you if you enjoy the 'Themepark' style of MMO design like found in World of Warcraft.
#9 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II is the long awaited sequel to Blizzard's most acclaimed sci-fi strategy game. Even if you are not interested in the Terran's campaign mode or the versus online strategy combat, the custom map maker - which has constantly improved throughout the years of Blizzard strategy games - will provide enough enjoyment to warrant a purchase. Blizzard has provided custom game creators with the best map editor to date. Some of the types of maps I have seen myself are: Mario Party, Pacman, Final Fantasy, and even Galaga style shoot 'em ups made with the StarCraft engine. The map maker can produce games from almost any genre. This is alongside the classic maps like Tower Defense and as such leads to an unbeatable value for variety. Even if you are not a strategy fan, there will be something to relish about SC2, which is something not many games of the genre can state.
#8 The Silver Lining
Fond memories of the Kingdom of Daventry from the nineties draw me like a siren's song to this title. The Silver Lining began as a fan project, was almost shut down, but has now been allowed by Activision to have a non-commercial release as an episodic sequel to the King's Quest series. Not only does this new iteration stay true to the rich lore the old adventure game genre is known for, but it also brings the series back to its classic form (as opposed to Mask of Eternity which had a new first person action spin which rubbed some fans the wrong way). Painful attention to detail has been taken to recreate the environments - especially the Land of the Green Isles from KQVI - in three dimensions while retaining their beauty. If you have recently gotten into adventure games, I would recommend sampling the entire King's Quest series before playing this or at least reading an overview of the plot of the past games. There are multiple references to the older games during some of the descriptive narration that may go over the head of the non-initiated KQ fan, even with this being an entirely new story.
#7 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
The World of Warcraft has been forever altered by The Shattering. The most anticipated MMO expansion of 2010 has arrived and has streamlined and polished the original WoW while adding brand new playable races. A new talent system which allowed early access to class defining abilities and balancing revamps for each class made the game feel brand new a few months ago. Now, with the release of the new expansion, the complete package of both content and revamped gameplay is available. If you have not touched Warcraft in years (I am sure many gamers like myself have been on and off with the game over the years) this is the time to check it out for another test drive. Cataclysm not only offers expanded race/class combinations, the ability to fly mounts in Azeroth, a brand new leveling path for the first sixty levels, but also extends your level cap to 85 and adds new high level content.
#6 Fallout New Vegas
Bethesda outdid themselves again. Although this game by no means perfect due to some bugs on the PC version and a few crashes during the early release, the story of New Vegas represents vast improvements over the previous title: Fallout 3. I appreciate titles where the decisions thrust upon your conscience do not always contain a clear cut good or evil path. This factor makes the various factions and quest lines of the game very enticing while at the same time down-to-earth. Fallout New Vegas is a game that you would be remiss to ignore as a fan of 3D, First Person RPGs.
#5 Civilization V
A phrase that will often come to mind while enjoying this game - especially if you are a college student - is, “Just one more turn!” If you have taken pleasure in the civilization building and development of previous Civilization games, you will really be fond of this title. This fifth installment of the main series has a new cast of historical figures to control and some returning ones. Before I play this game, I need to make sure I have no other pressing matters to attend to as everything in this game takes time and thought.